If you're still feeling guilty about that gorge-a-thon you went on over Thanksgiving that nearly made you lapse into a food coma - effectively making you not want to look at a turkey or its trimmings again for another year - there's still hope for waistline redemption for the Christmas holiday.
Marcel Thom, a fitness trainer and exercise therapist who also provides nutritional coaching and consultations, said it's OK to indulge in holiday foods. When offering ways in which people can eat healthy during the holiday season, he cautions to just not over-indulge, though. Turkey is pretty healthy, he noted, and baked turkey is a good option, but he didn't recommend frying the turkey because of the oil. He also recommended for people to avoid the skin. People can also enjoy eggnog, Thom added, but keep the fat content to a minimum.
"If you lower your caloric intake before the holiday, you can afford to 'carb load,' or indulge," he said. "Keep everything under control and in moderation."
Marcel Thom, a fitness trainer and exercise therapist, demonstrates on Tuesday afternoon how one of the weight machines at Anytime Fitness works. He encourages everyone to practice healthy eating habits not just during the holiday season, but for the whole year. However, he also said it’s OK to indulge in holiday foods, just not to over-indulge.
However, the holiday sweets are the foods that people fall into trouble with over the holidays, Thom said, like the pies, candies and cookies. Simple sugars can lead to disaster if you live a sedentary lifestyle, he noted.
"If you work really hard year-round, the body you worked so hard for can be gone in a flash," Thom said on the subject of over-indulging in sweets and goodies. "Stay away from simple sugars."
It's important for people to be conscious of their holiday food intake, especially for someone who wants a physically fit body for life, Thom said.
"What you put in (your body) will be reflected outside," he said. "You're supposed to see body symmetry and muscle definition."
There is a line of thought that if a person exercises every day for an hour, then he or she can eat whatever and as much as he or she wants. According to Thom, however, that is a myth. A person can work out seven days a week, but if he or she isn't getting adequate rest, proper nutrition and using proper form, then he or she will never see results, he explained. Those three components are the full spectrum cycle, and leaving one of them out can thwart a person's efforts on being physically fit.
"Eighty percent of results are achieved outside of the gym," Thom said. "The more saturated fat is consumed, the more the subcutaneous fat expands."
Every year on Jan. 2, Thom said he sees an increase in clients, and his phone gets flooded with people wanting to achieve physical fitness.
Portion control, discipline and dedication are three ways in which people can eat healthy over the holidays. Monitor your portions, Thom said, and don't get the biggest plate in the kitchen because you'll eat more. There's also meal timing, he noted, recommending that people eat six times a day, not big meals but small portions throughout the day. Discipline is the key, though, Thom said, because if you don't have discipline then everything you've worked for will be sabotaged.
"If this were easy," he said, "everybody would look like they're in shape. Nothing good comes easy."
Thom also said dedication is needed.
"Dedication will get you that body for life," he said.
Thom can be contacted for training sessions and consultations through his website at (www.thomfitness.com).